When Kyler Murray was selected with the No. 9 pick in June's MLB draft by the Oakland A's, he said his plan was to play one more season of football with Oklahoma before leaving the gridiron for the diamond.
Now, with a full regular season of being the Sooners' starting quarterback behind him, and the Big 12 Championship game and a potential College Football Playoff berth on the horizon, Murray said he will stick with his original arrangement.
According to ESPN’s Jake Trotter, Murray told reporters that leaving football to transition fully into baseball next year "is still the plan" even though Murray believes he could play in the NFL.
Murray will be an outfielder when he reports to the A's, but with the Sooners in the fall, he is one of the top quarterbacks in the nation. He's thrown for 3,674 yards and 37 touchdowns this season while completing 70.6% of his attempts. On the ground, Murray has run for 853 yards and 11 scores.
On Saturday, Murray will lead Oklahoma against rival Texas in the Big 12 title game with a shot at the College Football Playoff on the line. Oklahoma is 11–1 on the season and one of a handful of teams competing for what will likely be the final spot in the playoff.
Retired scout Dave Perkin wrote this of Murray’s future on the diamond within SI.com’s 2018 MLB draft coverage:
He is a baseball novice, and will need to learn the nuances of the game in the minors. If Murray’s tools develop, he profiles as a 30-plus base stealer and an elite defensive centerfielder with range, playmaking skills and an above-average arm.
Murray’s bat is the primary question mark. His swing mechanics are decent, but of course, hitting is mostly about reading pitches and timing. Obviously, the A’s are banking Murray will learn to hit; no doubt Oakland has no problem in accepting a high K rate with Murray.